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Irrigation and drain water control for modern horticulture The Drainwatercontrole mat weigher has been developed by Brinkman Tuinbouw Techniek for cultivation in mats, pots and containers on substrate gutters. It concerns an integration of the DWC system, the slab weigher and the EC-meter. The pH meter is an option. It is a modular system with […]
Irrigation and drain water control for modern horticulture
The Drainwatercontrole mat weigher has been developed by Brinkman Tuinbouw Techniek for cultivation in mats, pots and containers on substrate gutters. It concerns an integration of the DWC system, the slab weigher and the EC-meter. The pH meter is an option. It is a modular system with only the DWC system, only the mat weigher or both. DWC is the main controller for irrigation and drain control. The mat weigher is an additional controller for periods with a low moisture content without drain. Volume, EC and pH of the drain water are measured per drip. The matt weight or the moisture content of the substrate is measured continuously.
The combination of both measuring instruments at one measuring station brings together all the measurement data from the same plants. A unique combination.
Complete measuring station
A complete measuring station for substrate trays consists of a mounting frame, extendable supports and the measuring instruments DWC, matte weigher and the EC- & pH set. These measuring instruments are used in combination with substrate crops on the ground. With the suspended slab weigher it is adapted for the application of all kinds of substrates on suspended substrate trays.
Representative measuring point for the DWC slab weigher
The measuring station should preferably be placed close to the greenhouse air measuring box, the CO2 measuring point and the plant temperature meter of a certain department. This means that all relevant cultivation data comes from the same measuring point. Such measurement data strengthen the mutual relationships and optimise the water control. Comparison with climate data is therefore possible. Measurement data coming from the same measurement site are comparable and prevent ‘apples and pears’ from being compared.
The Drainwater Control System has the most advanced irrigation and drain control for substrate cultivation and offers a wealth of possibilities and information. In addition to controlling the correct amount of irrigation and drain, it provides information on water uptake/m2, drain%, EC/pH drain, drying mat and water uptake rate in ml/m2/hour. A special feature of the DWC system is that it alerts the plants when they use more or less water than expected. After each drip, the DWC collects the drain water via a closed system and accurately measures the amount of drain and its EC & pH. The drain volume and your settings determine when the next drip should come.
With the DWC, for example, you can set a fixed drain%. With a larger water intake, more frequent watering is automatically given. The drain% is set per period and influenced by radiation. There is also a limit to the amount of water that is administered after a dry period. The DWC takes the screen fabric into account. The DWC regulates the optimal irrigation and the desired drain% under all circumstances.
DWC regulates irrigation and drain per period
A DWC program in the Alliance computer makes it possible to set six periods a day. This makes it possible to choose a different irrigation and/or ‘drain strategy’ per period. In practice, there are many ideas about how the irrigation and drain should be regulated during the day. The DWC programme offers room for all these ideas. From the six adjustable periods, the DWC programme automatically regulates: the basic drain%, the catch-up drain%, the radiation-dependent drain increase%, the cumulative drain% and the rate of irrigation.
Data storage and analysis in graphs
The operation of the DWC measuring & control program can be done from the central computer or from a control panel at the substrate unit. You don’t have to enter the crop to change the settings. In the evaporation model, the DWC system calculates with the following data: irrigation, radiation, radiation permeability%(greenhouse cover & screen cloth) and heating. This ensures that the ‘evaporationomstart’ takes place at the right time. With an integrated computer system, all DWC measurement data, together with the climate data, can be placed next to each other in attractive colour graphs. This provides unique opportunities for analysis of plant behaviour. This is especially the case when modern matters, such as plant temperature and evaporation pressure from the plant temperature meters, are also taken into account in this analysis. Studying relations between water uptake rate, radiation, plant temperature and evaporation pressure is now the most modern measurement and control technology in horticulture.